Muck-In Morning, 19th December 2020
Muck-In Morning, 19th December 2020

Around 20 people attended the Muck-In Morning on Saturday 19th December. There was lots of enthusiasm and Christmas spirit, and many hands made light work of the tasks.

Underneath the elm trees near the Pond Hide, hazel grows. The volunteers helped with coppicing the hazel. Chairman Colin Slater had already cut the hazel close to the ground, and the volunteers’ task was to saw and chop it into manageable lengths, then add it to brash hedges.

The Purpose of Coppicing

Colin supervising the Muck-In work
Colin supervising the Muck-In work

Colin explained the purpose of coppicing.

Coppicing creates a multi-stemmed shrub rather than a single-trunked tree. It is a traditional woodland management practice; wood was a valuable commodity in the past – for example, elm was used to make clogs, and hazel made hurdle fences or was used as the ‘wattle’ component in wattle and daub construction.

British wildlife evolved in coppiced woodland. Coppicing the hazel every 6 years or so opens up the patch of land to light, and lets flowers grow. This provides good conditions for insects including fritillary butterflies. Colin said it can attract nightingales too.

The brash hedges we created run west-east, so they have a warmer, sunnier south side, and a cooler, damper north side which provides a home to invertebrates.

Christmas Lunch

As a Christmas treat, a delicious chili lunch was laid on by Claire, and much enjoyed and appreciated by the hungry workers.

Muck-In 19th December 2020

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